The Best Places to Buy Refrigerators in 2022

Big box stores and online retailers offer lots of options to keep your food cool.

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When you are considering purchasing a refrigerator, whether it is an upgrade or your first model, there are lots of options for shopping in-store or online. There are big box stores that often have affordable options, but don’t count out the family-owned independents known for stellar customer service. 

Refrigerators are a major appliance investment so make sure you are looking at a retailer’s product selection, availability, delivery options and cost, warranties, and if it doesn’t work out, return policies. Whatever your priorities are, there is a retailer to match them.

From popular national chains to budget-friendly direct-to-consumer retailers, these are the best places to buy a refrigerator.

ABT

abt-electronics

Courtesy of ABT

What We Love: Customer service seven days a week, lots of online guides, tips, and how-tos, wide selection, ships throughout the country

What We Don’t Love: Only brick and mortar store is in Illinois

Known for its 7-day-a-week, friendly customer service, ABT provides a very personalized buying experience even though the bulk of its business is done online. They are a family-run company that started as a Chicago-area brick-and-mortar enterprise more than 85 years ago. And, customers can expect quick support through its virtual chat and phone options, but its online learning center has a bevy of buying guides, how-to manuals, and general tips to facilitate choosing and buying your new appliance.

Expect a wide selection of brands at various price points with free shipping on most appliances—look for the "free shipping on orders over $35" badge. If you happen to be local to the store in Glenview, Illinois, curbside and in-store pickup are also available for in-stock models. And, if you have the chance to visit their single location, you will see it’s more than just an appliance store. It has its own Apple Store and a 7500-gallon saltwater aquarium. 

ABT offers a 30-day return or exchange window, but return shipping may apply for overweight items, and they must be returned in original packaging with all included manuals. As an Authorized Online Retailer, they provide the full manufacturer’s warranty. Also available are extended protection plans, and they have partnered with GE home delivery for most out-of-state delivery and installation. If you are getting rid of your fridge, there is a fee to remove it.

“ABT is a Chicago, Illinois-based company—within a 100-mile radius of our store, we offer full service (delivery, installation, and haul away of the old). We even have our own recycling center on campus.” Megan Kell, Senior Account Manager for ABT Corporate Sales Team

What We Love: Expansive selection, savings section filter, specialize in kitchen appliances, carries hard-to-find brands

What We Don’t Love: No returns unless defective on arrival

Featuring a staggering selection of refrigerators, AJ Madison covers the spectrum from budget to high-end niche models. If you are looking for a built-in, it has them. Need a red fridge, you can find it here. Yearning for a panel-ready style, look no further. And, its savings filter helps customers locate mail-in rebates, items with free delivery, and special deals easily. 

There are three tiers of delivery options. Most refrigerators come with free delivery, but installation and removal of old appliances are arranged with a third party and incur an additional charge. Shipping usually takes 1-2 weeks, and AJ Madison does not accept returns unless a defect is reported upon arrival. Like other retailers, it honors the manufacturer’s warranty which usually lasts up to one year, and offers extended warranties beyond that. The extra protection plans are offered through Allstate and are available in a number of increments.

Founded in 2000 as an online retailer, AJ Madison has luxury showrooms in Brooklyn, New York, Washington, D.C., and Miami for in-person shopping. If there is an unusual brand you are looking for, chances are it carries it. And, if you opt for its haul-away service, that old refrigerator is being refurbished and relocated to a Habitat for Humanity house.

Appliances Connection

Appliances Connection

Appliances Connection

What We Love: Liberal return policy, user-friendly website, price match guarantee, an expansive selection

What We Don’t Love: Additional fees for in-home delivery and installation

Appliance Connection came on the scene in 2001, opening a Brooklyn, New York, showroom and headquarters, in addition to a 200,000-square-foot warehouse facility in New Jersey. Due to this warehouse facility, orders ship quickly. Free shipping is available on most orders, but you can upgrade to White Glove Delivery and have your new refrigerator unpacked, and moved to its new location. Installation and removal of old refrigerators are separate fees that depend on where you live.

The selection at Appliance Connection is unparalleled. It has household names like Whirlpool and GE, but it also carries niche brands like Smeg, SubZero, and Viking. The prices are competitive, but if you find it less expensive elsewhere, it offers price matching. And, its user-friendly website has a section called “Closeout Deals” with even better savings. The online shopping experience is seamless with ample filtering options, and every purchase is accompanied by a tip sheet outlining preparation steps for receiving your new refrigerator.

The return window is 30 days, but unlike other retailers, it doesn’t matter why you are dissatisfied. The only hitch is your 30 days starts the day the refrigerator ships, not when you receive it.

Related: The Best Bottom-Freezer Refrigerators

Best Buy

What We Love: Liberal return policy. good online support, many locations to facilitate shopping, price match guarantee

What We Don’t Love: Limited selection of non-technology enhanced products

Best known for the Geek Squad who come out and repair your electronics, Best Buy has some of the most high-tech offerings in the realm of refrigerators. If smart technology and innovation are high on your priority list, this retailer is worth a look. The website is easy to navigate and has options from basic models, to counter-depth styles, to those that are Wi-Fi-connected. It will price match with local and online retailers.

Free delivery is available for purchases $399 and up, and it will haul away your old refrigerator for an additional fee. Installation is free unless you need a water line put in—then it is an additional $135. Appliances are covered by the manufacturer warranty for up to a year, and after that, you can purchase Geek Squad protection in 3-year or 5-year increments, which includes a food spoilage plan. And, it has a liberal return policy within fifteen days of delivery.

Related: The Best Side-by-Side Refrigerators

Home Depot

home-depot

Courtesy of Home Depot

What We Love: Price match guarantee, many locations to facilitate shopping, wide variety of brands

What We Don’t Love: No returns unless defective on arrival

Home Depot is found in most towns across the U.S. It carries major brands like Samsung and Bosch, but also budget-friendly options like Amana—the selection is wide. Home Depot price matches, and shopping online is as easy as in-person.

It provides local delivery free on purchases of $396 and over (this covers most refrigerator models), but its return policy is not as generous. You can only return the appliance if you inspect the refrigerator, find damage when delivered, and report it. It will deliver the appliance, and install, but only with connectors purchased when the refrigerator is purchased. It will haul away your old refrigerator for a fee, typically $25, but it depends on the area.

Most refrigerators come with a manufacturer warranty that covers the first year. Beyond that, Home Depot offers 3-year and 5-year additional protection plans. 

Related: The Best French-Door Refrigerators

What We Love: Price match guarantee, many locations to facilitate shopping, wide variety of brands

What We Don’t Love: Stock availability

Chances are there is a Lowes in your hometown, and that means free delivery. If there is a store within 75 miles of your home, Lowes provides local delivery which includes: connection of appliance to an existing water line, an inspection of the appliance for damage, product demonstration and testing, leveling, and relocation of an old refrigerator. And, it will remove your old refrigerator for a fee, currently $30. 

Whether you are shopping online or in-person, Lowes guides customers through available models, door configurations, features, and other considerations to make selection easier. It has a wide variety of brands from stalwart Maytag to lesser-known, but reliable Haier, and it will price match.  Appliances are typically covered by the manufacturer’s warranty for a 1-year period. After that, it offers extended coverage up to another four years, making it five years in total. And, if you are dissatisfied, it offers a 30-day return policy on major appliances. If it is a special-order product, a 20 percent restocking fee is assessed.

Related: The Best Top-Freezer Refrigerators

What to Look for When Buying a Refrigerator

Delivery information

Refrigerators are heavy appliances. If you have to pay for a delivery, it could be costly. Look for retailers that offer free delivery. But even beyond that, look at how it's delivered. Is it just to your front door? That doesn’t help much if you then need to move it yourself into the kitchen. Does delivery include basic installation and connection? This is important, especially if returns aren’t offered. And on that note, you may need to buy new connection parts to be eligible for installation. Be sure you have read the company’s policy about delivery and installation. If you aren’t sure, most retailers have robust online customer service—avail yourself of that and get those questions answered.

Disposal

You cannot just throw your old fridge out on the curb. It’s important to consider whether a retailer offers disposal of old appliances. Many will do this for a fee, and some even recondition and donate the refrigerator. Be sure you have a plan before the new one arrives. Refrigerators have insulation and coolant in them that needs to be handled by a professional. 

Store Warranties

Basically, all refrigerators come with a manufacturer's warranty that will usually carry you through the first year. Beyond that, you have to evaluate if a store warranty makes sense for you. "I highly recommend warranties, especially on models that have ice makers and dispensers," says Kell. "Those features increase the chance you'll need service."

FAQs

Do fridges need space around them? 

Yes. Most retailers have guides about what to measure, but in general refrigerators need two inches of clearance from the back wall, one inch from the upper cabinet, and an eighth of an inch on either side. Make sure to consider this when looking at refrigerators to buy because the most common reason for a return is it does not fit.

"Sizing is paramount for a refrigerator. The #1 reason refrigerators come back is they don't actually fit in the space," says Kell. "They should have accurate measurements and know if there is a wall on either side of the appliance. Almost all refrigerators require additional clearances between the unit and a wall for full access to the interior (drawers)."

Can you throw out an old fridge with the weekly garbage pickup?

Even if you could get the old fridge out to the curb, it is likely your garbage collector will not pick it up. Some areas have a bulk pickup appliance day, but be sure to call them first. There are also appliance recycling programs in some communities that will refurbish your refrigerator and donate it. State and local governments often have guidance on their websites about appliance disposal. Some quick searching on local websites should yield the appropriate solution.

Why Trust Simply Recipes?

Carrie Honaker is a food writer who has owned and upgraded a number of refrigerators over the years. As a restaurateur and avid home cook, she knows the importance of finding the right storage option for your groceries, and prepared meals. Her work has appeared in many publications including Bon Appetit, Allrecipes, and Wine Enthusiast.

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